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Rashad Evans vs. Lyoto Machida official for UFC 98

Lyoto Machida will step in for Quinton "Rampage"Jackson in a light-heavyweight title fight against champion Rashad Evans at UFC 98 on May 23, the UFC announced today.

"With 32 wins and no losses between them, this may end up being one of the most memorable UFC title fights of all time," UFC president Dana White said. "Neither guy has learned how to lose yet, and I'm interested to see if Rashad is the first fighter to figure out Machida's style, as well as if Machida can withstand the striking power and wrestling of Rashad. The winner of this one is truly the best 205 pounder on the planet."

White said at the UFC 96 post-fight conference that Jackson would fight Evans as long as Jackson is 100 percent healthy, but a check up earlier this week revealed torn ligaments in Jackson's jaw, which will require him to undergo surgery.

Evans (18-0-1) was arguably the fighter of the year in 2008, knocking out former champ Chuck Liddell in September and then capturing the belt from Forrest Griffin in December.

Machida (14-0) has long made his case for a title shot with wins over Rich Franklin, Tito Ortiz, Stephan Bonnar and BJ Penn. Often described as "elusive," for better or worse, Machida in his last fight showed he could also be aggressive, scoring a knockout over Thiago Silva in the first round.

UFC 98, titled "Evans vs. Machida," happens from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will air live on pay-per-view.

FIGHT CARD:

  • Rashad Evans vs. Lyoto Machida
  • Matt Hughes vs. Matt Serra
  • Sean Sherk vs. Frankie Edgar
  • Josh Koscheck vs. Chris Wilson
  • James Irvin vs. Drew McFedries
  • Houston Alexander vs. Andre Gusmao
  • Yoshiyuki Yoshida vs. Brandon Wolff
  • Phillipe Nover vs. Kyle Bradley
  • Tim Hague vs. Patrick Barry
  • George Roop vs. David Kaplan